Bitter gourd (Momordicacharantia) is a commonly consumed
tropical vegetable. Ayurvedic science andmedical science have both proven the
beneficial effects of this vegetable inprevention and treatment of diabetes.
Infact Bitter Gourd's (BG)anti-diabetic, anti-bacterial, antiviral and
anticancer activities have beenwell established in human studies in the past
(MetS) is a metabolic disordercharacterized by abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia,
hypertension and insulinresistance, and is well-established indicator for high
risk of type 2 diabetesmellitus (DM) and cardiovascular diseases. Dueto rapid
transitions toward excessive energy intake and sedentary lifestyle,MetS has
become a major health problem worldwide affecting about 34% of US and23.1% of Taiwan populations.
Gourd(WBG) has shown to ameliorate metabolic syndrome in animal
studies.Nevertheless, it remains unclear if WBG has beneficial effects on MetS
inhumans or not.
Mechanism of action:
It has been knownthat
Peroxisome Proliferator-activatedreceptors (PPARs) are nuclear receptors that
control lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. Theactivation of these receptors
helps to treat MetS.
In animal models,WBG
has been seen to up-regulate PPARγ andPPARα-mediated pathways which are
associated withimproved MetS, together with the long established evidence of
Bitter Gourd'srole in the improvement of insulin resistance.
Therefore a study was
conducted to evaluate the roleof wild bitter gourd supplementation on MetS in
A trial was conducted ofeligible individuals from May 2008
to April 2009 and a total of 42 people (21 men and 21 women)aged between 23 to
63 years were supplemented with 4.8 gram lyophilized WBGpowder in capsules
daily for three months. They were checked for MetS atenrollment and monthly
follow-up. After the supplements was ceased, theparticipants were checked for
MetS monthly over an additional three-monthperiod.
rate was seen to decrease by 7.1 percent in the visit 2 versus11.9 percent in
visit 7 as compared to that at baseline (visit 1). The decreasein incidence
rate was highest at the end of the three-month supplementationperiod and it was
significantly different from that at baseline.
Atthe same time the
positive effect was seen only till the end of fourth month(one month after the
cessation of supplementation) as the effect diminished atthe 5th and 6th months
after baseline. Thewaist circumference also significantly decreased after the
supplementation.The positive effect lasted only till theparticipants were
subjected to WBG supplementation.
The study clearly provesthat WBG supplementation improves
metabolic syndrome and has immense potentialto benefit people living with
it.The study forms a firm base for further studies to evaluate the efficacy of
Reference: Wild bitter gourdimproves metabolic syndrome: A preliminary dietary supplementation trial; ChungHuang et al; Nutrition Journal 2012.